BQuick On July 9: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
People are reflected in a water feature as they walk inside the lobby of JW Marriott hotel in Macau, China (Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On July 9: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

This is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.

India’s Twin Stake Sale Plan

India is considering a plan to raise as much as Rs 20,000 crore ($2.7 billion) by selling stake in the world’s largest coal producer and a bank to fund a stimulus program aimed at boosting the virus-battered economy, officials with knowledge of the matter said.

  • The proposal involves a share sale depending on the market sentiment, said the officials, who asked not to be identified, as the discussions are private.
  • In case of Coal India, if valuations are not attractive, the company will buy back shares from the government, they said. Two calls made to the finance ministry spokesman remained unanswered.
  • Modi in February had planned to raise as much as Rs 2.1 lakh crore selling state assets in a bid to keep the budget deficit at 3.5% of gross domestic product.

Find out why raising funds is key for Modi’s administration.

BQuick On July 9: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

TCS’ Profit Dips, But It Says Worst Is Over

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.’s quarterly profit declined more than expected as delays in project executions and a shift to working from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic weighed on operations.

  • Net profit fell 13% sequentially to Rs 7,049 crore.
  • Revenue fell 4.1% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 38,322 crore.
  • Dollar revenue fell 7% to $5,060 million.
  • Margin narrowed to 23.6% from 25.1%.
It (pandemic impact) affected all verticals, with the exception of life sciences and healthcare, with varying levels of impact. We believe it has bottomed out, and we should now start tracing our path to growth.
Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO, TCS

Get more details for TCS’ Q1 results here.

Nifty Recoups Losses

Indian equity markets recovered Wednesday’s losses, ending the weekly options expiry session with gains of over 1%.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 1.1% higher at 36,737 while the NSE Nifty 50 index ended 1.2% higher at 10,832.
  • Both benchmark indices have now gained in six out of the last seven trading sessions.
  • Among sectoral indices, banking and metal stocks outperformed in today's trade.
  • The broader markets had a mixed day. The midcap index ended 0.4% higher while the smallcap index ended 1.1% higher.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

For those trying to figure out the Indian equity market’s yo-yo ride, Prateek Agrawal has a suggestion: look at it from the short- and long-term perspective.

Watch the full interview where Agrawal makes a distinction that equity investors should make.

Also read: Record-High Gold Prices Are in Sight 

What’s Vogue In India’s Cash-Rich Market

Buying short-tenor debt is the most popular trade in Indian markets these days.

  • The rush for these assets has driven yields on some bills to levels below those seen during the global financial crisis, while allowing some states to sell bonds at yields below the sovereign.
  • Companies have taken note, selling a record amount of debt maturing in three years or less in the latest quarter.
  • The funneling of excess liquidity—and there’s Rs 6.3 lakh crore ($84 billion) sitting around—into just that space reveals the anxiety investors have over the outlook of an economy that was once the fastest-growing in Asia.

The following metrics highlight the robust demand for India’s short-term debt.

Also read: As Asian Deals Disappear, India Becomes Unlikely M&A Hotspot

Flipkart’s Latest Buy

Arvind Youth Brands, the owner of Flying Machine and part of the Lalbhai Group, has agreed to sell a minority stake to Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart Group for Rs 260 crore as it looks to tap online sales when shoppers are avoiding stores.

  • Flipkart Group and Arvind Fashions Ltd., the parent of Arvind Youth Brands, will work collaboratively to identify opportunities and synergies to innovate and develop products at attractive price points, the two companies said in a joint statement.
  • “The investment is to build on the long-standing engagement between the two organisations,” it said.

Find out more details about the deal and what it gives to both companies.

Laptops, Desktop Sales Spike, But...

As Indians work from home and schools go online during the pandemic, sales of laptops and desktops have spiked.

  • Shipments of personal computers fell in the first three months of 2020 as supply chains in China, the largest exporter of electronic goods, froze.
  • But sales in India, Asia’s third-largest economy, rose starting May, led by pent-up demand, as the government gradually started reopening the economy.
  • “This was the best quarter for commercial sales of laptops,” Jaipal Singh, associate research manager of Client Devices at IDC India, told BloombergQuint, adding pent-up demand persists with the lockdown not lifted entirely across India.

Yet, this may be a short-term spike.

Maharashtra Looks To Revive Slum Rehabilitation Efforts

Maharashtra plans to set up a stress fund to complete slum rehabilitation projects stalled during the pandemic, which served as a reminder of the poor living conditions in Mumbai, the state's capital and India's financial hub.

  • The fund will help in completion of rehabilitation component under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority projects, Jitendra Awhad, state housing minister, said in a virtual press conference.
  • The government will infuse Rs 700-1,000 crore and public sector lenders will also pitch in.
  • According to the minister, 541 SRA projects are ready and 370 are stuck. Of 5.07 lakh planned homes, about 3.80 lakh are under-construction. But developers are facing a liquidity crunch as the pandemic disrupted all but essential economic activity.

Premiums fees and approval timelines for developers have also been reduced.

A Job Guarantee Scheme For The Cities

A quicker spread of the virus in densely populated cities and towns of India has led to continued restrictions of normal business activities, leaving many facing job losses and income shortfalls.

  • While the national-level rural jobs guarantee scheme can help provide support to the rural economy, India currently does not have a urban jobs guarantee programme.
  • To bridge this gap, a few states are now experimenting with schemes that assure a certain number of workdays even to the urban poor.
  • Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha and Jharkhand are all trying their own versions of a job guarantee scheme for urban areas, albeit thinly funded ones.

Can these schemes help revive urban employment?

Also read: Virus-Ravaged States in India Clamor for More Funds From Modi

Covid-19: Biggest Single-Day Spike And Partial Lockdowns

Coronavirus infections in India are close to 7.5 lakh as the country continues to report over 20,000 cases on a daily basis, prompting the authorities to put several cities, districts and states under renewed lockdowns

  • India added nearly 25,000 Covid-19 cases in just 24 hours to peg the total tally at over 7.69 lakh, according to the Health Ministry’s 8 a.m. update on July 9.
  • Over 4.7 lakh of these cases have been declared as cured or discharged.
  • The Madhya Pradesh government decided to enforce a complete lockdown across the state on Sundays due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in some districts during the past week.
  • Bihar imposed fresh lockdowns in several regions including the worst-hit Patna district.
  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too said that a lockdown will be imposed in containment zones in West Bengal for seven days from 5 p.m. Thursday.

Track news and developments around the Covid-19 pandemic here.

Globally, cases crossed 12 million leaving over 5,48,000 dead.

  • The U.S. surpassed 3 million infections to account for more than a quarter of cases worldwide.
  • Mexico had its biggest daily jump in infections as the virus ravages the Americas.
  • Iran reported its deadliest day, while South Africa’s health minister warned of a scarcity of intensive-care beds.

Follow the global spread of the virus here.

Also read: India to Focus on Health and Economy as Virus Surges, Modi Says

Finding India’s Next Digital Winners

Time will be the next frontier in India’s digital battlefield; dollars will follow the hours consumers spend online, writes Andy Mukherjee.

  • India has left a void in their day by banning 59 Chinese apps after a border dispute with its northern neighbor led to violent clashes
  • The video-sharing platform TikTok, which became a craze in towns and villages as a medium of expression, is gone.
  • So are its smaller cousins, like Bigo Live and Likee.

What can fill the gap?

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